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Der Greif #11

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Artist Blog

Jul 23, 2019

State of Identity

In the series ‘State of Identity’ I portray young people who are in search of their gender identity and who are in the process of physical transition. The focus is not on the physical transitio...


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  • Artist Feature Showcase – August 2019
- »Half empty half full« by Vytautas Kumža (@vytautaskumza)
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Studio as an archive and a space as a catalyst for ideas and accidental possibilities. Where main focus is on photography and sculpture, the intersection area between both practices and its’ shifting perceptions creates a chance for a surprise, a mistake, a mismatch, maybe even a cliche meeting every controlling impulse of undoing.
For Vytautas Kumza photography is not a single act, but more as chain of decisions starting with the idea and ending with the form of presentation, often exposing the craftsmanship behind each image. By building a place where private studio and public space (gallery) merge, Vytautas Kumža presents physical displays holding a collection of photographs.
Extracted and transformed architectural studio parts are used as displays for encyclopedic range of photographs. Physical alterations of space leave visible mark in the final work, revealing original source as well as bringing photography production and its’ conditions up for a discussion. Photographic series becomes a vocabulary constructed by artist’s trickery; using visual illusion, spatial constructs, positive-negative imagery and exaggerated scale, leaving sardonic commentary on photography.
Questioning references of what particular image suggests and merging many elements into the frame of presentation, the theme of reappraisal of everyday objects in a familiar environment is raised by Vytautas Kumza's work.
  • Artist Feature Showcase – August 2019
- »Subtitled Poetry« by Robin Cracknell (@therobincracknell)
- "This is a project i have been working on since 2015. This series of work is produced by printing film stills with random subtitles paired algorithmically. Although I do make some minor aesthetic decisions, I consider this series 'machine-authored' as the pairings of text and image are decided via an algorithm and the resulting narrative within that photograph quite accidental. I source films randomly. Usually international directors from the mid 20th century, primarily Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Soviet and French but not exclusively so. Some classics. Many obscure. I strip out the subtitles (srt file) and shuffle the dialogue into random sequences. I type the sentence fragments out on a manual typewriter in stanzas. I then take random stills from these films and pair them algorithmically with fragments of these stanzas. I then print these stills and dialogue fragments together creating new narratives; e.g. an image from Bambi (USA,1942) coupled with dialogue from Dolls (Japan, 2002) creates a moment quite distinct from either story."
  • Artist Feature Showcase – August 2019
- »Contemporary Elderly« by Louis de Belle (@louisdebelle)
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Contemporary Elderly is a series of colorised photographs of older people shot in the streets of Milano. Close-up crops on postures, clothing details and specific gestures lead us into the status of senior citizens in modern times, emphasised by the selective process of colorisation – a method of manually adding colour to a black-and-white photograph.
A posture, such as holding hands behind the back, can mean discipline but can also symbolise a generation that didn’t spend time behind a screen and doesn’t walk holding a smartphone. Yet if one’s age can be perceived through externals signs of ageing like wrinkles, there is also an apparatus of typical elements such as braces, belts, handcuffs, wristwatches or jewellery that can further inform the viewer.
The photographic series Contemporary Elderly focuses on such ephemeral cliches, depicting hands adjusting a pair of glasses, fixing a handcuff, holding a newspaper or simply resting on a cutting board.
Contemporary Elderly will be exhibited in the eponymous solo show at Galera San Soda in Milano opening on September 26 2019.
  • Artist Feature Showcase – August 2019
- »Memento mori« by Noémi Szécsi (@nomejni)
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At the heart of my work, Memento mori, are the workers of the death industry. I was wondering how people, who work with the concept of death on a daily basis, can relate to their own existence. What kind of impression do workers have on the factory and how does this work affect their physical and mental state? I was fascinated by these people because they haven't got the choice to deny death. I visited a coffin and an urn factory, and I worked together with two gravediggers during the project. During the months I got to know them better and discovered a grotesque duality between the workers and their work. At the same time, seriousness and absurd humour are present. This ambivalent mood is the basis for my series.
  • Artist Feature Showcase – August 2019
- »Big Flat Now« by Marco Scozzaro (@marcoscozzaro)
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I am interested in the idea of illusion in photography and I have been exploring its own duality, the paradoxical nature between flatness and tridimensionality, the artifice of a representation laying on its flat surface as an index of the “real” world, but also the magic potential to explore unexpected dimensions through this illusion.
The Big Flat Now is part of my ongoing exploration of photography as a language that has become the contemporary visual vernacular. The project explores how we produce and consume images nowadays with particular attention to the stereotypical language of the creative industry. 
I deconstruct some of the conventions, tropes, and rhetorics of image-making, exploring how a multilayered image can be still perceived as a photograph and how its elements can be reconfigured to create new associations.
In the prints, fragments of photographs are clustered, layered, and juxtaposed just like windows on the monitors of our computers. By layering a multitude of photographs, I challenge the convention of putting the subject in the middle of the frame and I create abstract pictures that become almost textures and patterns. In this overwhelming and saturated scenario, the framework becomes almost more important than the content and it’s difficult to distinguish the figure from the background. And maybe it's not even important to try…
  • Artist Feature Showcase – August 2019
- »The Springs« by Hayley Austin (@hayley.austin.photo)
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Originally from Texas, I have been living in Germany for the past ten years. In 2018, I returned to the United States for three months to work on a project in Las Vegas, where I explored the viability of the American dream. A century and a half ago, Las Vegas — “the meadows” in Spanish — was an oasis fed by underground springs. The spring dried up long ago, and Lake Mead supplying 90% of the cities’ water will follow, yet in 2017 it was the third-fastest-growing city in America. People come to Las Vegas with high hopes that hard work guarantees a well-paid job and home ownership. But poverty and homelessness are on the rise. And in no other American city is the gap in life expectancy between rich and poor greater. This series grew out of the pursuit to fin the signs of the tension.